A report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter yesterday indicated that the 49ers and Broncos had agreed to the parameters of a trade that would send Colin Kaepernick to the Broncos in exchange for a mid-round draft pick or two, with the only holdup being an agreement between Kaepernick and Denver on a reduced contract. However, subsequent reports from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee indicated that the two teams do not, in fact, have the parameters of a deal in place, and that while a trade could certainly happen, there are still a number of hurdles to clear.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk concurs with Rapoport and Barrows, writing that, “the notion that the only thing keeping a deal from happening is a deal between the Broncos and Kaepernick on a reduced contract is…a ‘real stretch.'” Florio’s source says “someone” planted the news that trade talks are much further along than they actually are because that “someone” wants a deal to get done and believes that reports indicating a deal is close will provide the push necessary to make it happen.
But Schefter continues to stand by his original report that the trade compensation is a “non-issue” and that the only obstacle is Kaepernick’s contract. And, according to Schefter’s latest story, Kaepernick and the Broncos have made progress on most of the signal-caller’s contract, which runs through 2020, with the upcoming 2016 season being the only sticking point. Schefter writes that the Broncos are willing to pay $7MM of Kaepernick’s $11.9MM 2016 salary, which became fully guaranteed on Friday, but they would like San Francisco to pay the remaining $4.9MM, something the Niners are reportedly unwilling to do. Kaepernick, understandably, has no desire to simply forfeit that $4.9MM to make a deal work.
Clearly, there is some disagreement among some of the NFL’s most prominent writers as to the imminence of a Kaepernick trade. There are some scribes, like John McMullen of Today’sPigskin.com, who believe that Kaepernick should forfeit the $4.9MM in order to facilitate a deal and land on a contending club, which could increase his salary in the long run. As McMullen writes, “a give back by Kaepernick in the short-term could be taking the proverbial one step back to eventually take two forward because a rejuvenated career means more money on the back-end.” But if Schefter’s report that Kaepernick and Denver have more or less ironed out the final four years of the quarterback’s deal, then the premises of McMullen’s theory don’t necessarily hold up, and although Kaepernick clearly wants to get out of San Francisco, spending at least one season in Chip Kelly‘s offense would hardly be the worst thing for him from a football standpoint.
Like the rest of the football world, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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